A step back in time
Trip Start Oct 09, 2009
52Trip End Jan 21, 2010
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Where I stayed
Rog and Sue van Schaick
We cycled about up the island which has only two dirt tracks and apart from the rare moto it's as if I'd stepped back in time. I had paid $5 to plant a tree so in order to collect the specially made sign we went to the rep of the organiser in an island home stay. Whilst we waited for the sign I got chatting to some French people from Brittany who had been travelling for nearly a year constantly. It made my whistle stop tour rather insignificant in comparison to them who had stayed for 5 months in Laos for example.
We continued on with the sign which now said 'HARRY VAN SCHAICK UK' changed from 'HARRY VAN SCHAICR UK'
As the temperature soared we arrived at the pagoda where the tree planting scheme was. I was shown to my hole and I discovered that I was the first tourist to plant a tree here. A mobile was passed to me and on the other end was the organiser from Phnom Penh, I chatted to him for about 5 minutes during which time my tree had actually been planted. Rather disappointed, I hammered in the sign with my name and country on it and had lots of photos taken with it.
From there we pushed the bikes through rice paddy fields and thick mud and I was shown at the other end of the island the Vietnamese floating village. It's a small community of around 100 and they live a sustainable and self sufficient lifestyle. By now it was midday and we were both getting hungry. We went back to the 'mainland' and I went back to Rog and Sue's, had lunch and went straight to sleep for a long siesta. At about 3 I woke up and answered a call from my mum as it was her birthday. I was quite sleepy so couldn't hold a good conversation at all!
The rest of the afternoon I just read and chilled out Kratie style. However at about 6:30 we headed off to our authentic Khmer party. It was a leaving party for a volunteer Colette who was working in the rural development domain. Surprisingly, most people there were Cambodian and after the mountains of food, the sub-woofers and the rest of the whole wall of speakers kicked in and started playing the deafening Cambodian pop music. Before long we were summoned up but the typical dance was not as expected. It consisted of just moving the body slowly to the rhythm of the music and performing intricate movements with one's hands. After a while I got the hang of it but was by no means good compared to some people there and got a few smiles for my bad effort.
The unfortunate reality is that if you get up at 6am you begin to feel tired by 9pm. So we reluctantly headed back from the party which I'm sure went on until the early hours!